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Fourth Reich Not Yet Forthcoming

Fourth Reich Not Yet Forthcoming

The Daily Shot, Ricochet, Thursday January 5, 2017

 You may have seen headlines earlier this week that Mein Kampf has become a bestseller in Germany. Indeed, in some quarters, it inspired nothing short of a minor freakout at evidence of a rising tide of neo-Nazism in Germany.

Slow down.

First, the edition of Mein Kampf we’re talking about is a new annotated version. This isn’t a popular paperback that somebody is going to leave on the bus. This was an expensive academic text (only $60, but still not cheap). It was the first time this annotated edition was being published, so it was being bought by schools, libraries, and scholars.

Also, the sales figures were not astronomical. Sure, 85,000 is a decent number, but that was early in the year and it trailed off after. The book was under copyright for the prior 70 years and the owners (the State of Bavaria) forbade it to be printed. That copyright expired in December 2015. So those 85,000 were filling a pent up scholarship need for the book. When those people bought the book, sales dropped off.

And yeah, it was a best seller … early in the year. But a quarter of books in Germany are bought for Christmas. So if you look at the current rankings on Germany’s Amazon, Mein Kampf is 79th on the nonfiction list, right under a book for web coders.

So if you see someone freaking out because Mein Kampf has once again become a bestseller, you can let them know they don’t have to worry about a resurgent Third Reich just yet.